There are so many cultures and customs all over the world and when it comes to cuisines, the variations are just as diverse. Plenty of dishes may seem strange to the uninitiated, however, they are considered delicacies not to be missed in their lands of origin. If you are interested in exploring different cultures, one of the best ways to do it is through their culinary delights. We have curated a list of some of the best exotic foods around that you shouldn’t miss.

Kobe Beef from Shin Kobe, Japan


When you think of good beef chances are your mind, goes to good ol’ local Angus. While this is not wrong, one of the best exotic dishes on our list happens to be high-quality Kobe beef from Shin Kobe in Japan. This dish is not only specially prepared, it comes from a cow raised in a special diet. The meat is so tender and juicy that it is never cooked past medium-rare. The fat marbling is so intense that even a little bit too much heat can cause that delicious fat to liquefy. Although you can find some versions of Kobe beef stateside, the best on the planet is found at the source n Shin Kobe.

Poke from Hawaii, USA


For those who love fish, this dish is a great way to step out of your comfort zone. Poke originates from Hawaii and is known as one of the best exotics foods in the world. The Ahi or Yellowfin Tuna is locally caught fresh and then cut into raw cubes. They are then liberally coated with sea salt, soy sauce, sweet onions, chili pepper, sesame oil, and limu seaweed. While it may seem like this dish would have a mushy texture, fresh Ahi has a texture that resembles ripe papaya. The poke is kept chilled and served with steamed rice. When the chilled poke and hot rice are consumed in equal proportions, the result is a diving explosion of flavor that you will never forget.

Nasi Lemak from Malaysia


The next time you are in Malaysia make time to stop and sample the Nasi Lemak. This dish is traditionally served on a freshly cut banana leaf which adds both flavor and aroma to the whole dish. The local rice is cooked in coconut milk and then topped with a sliced boiled egg. Atop that is a generous serving of sambal squid, chili sambal anchovies, fresh cucumbers, chopped peanuts, and a single piece of deep-fried chicken. Your tastebuds will never be the same once you taste this local delicacy served with love and devotion to every guest.

Turkish Meze


What better way to share meals with friends than by trying something new. Turkish Meze is a delight of flavors intended to be enjoyed among loved ones or close friends. They are in essence a selection of amuse bouche that is prepared and served prior to the main dish. These smaller servings usually come in as many as 20 different varieties. This is a social way for guests to enjoy a myriad of flavors without filling up their bellies over a long, pleasurable evening. From pickled vegetables to grilled seafood and cured meats, there is a little bit of something for everyone.

Khao Soi Curry Noodle Dish from Thailand


Thailand has a lot to offer, sunny beaches, a rich culture, and culinary delights that will tease the senses. In terms of exotic foods, this dish may seem tame, but we guarantee you have never encountered a broth quite like this one. Khao Soi is made up of hand-stretched yellow egg noodles that are extremely tender. They are then bathed in a flavor-rich broth and topped with more egg noodles, but this time deep-fried until they are crispy. What makes the broth so special is that it is made up of meat curry and a coconut milk base. The curry base can be made with beef, pork, or chicken, and depending on which area you visit, you will find each one available in abundance. Many locals enjoy Khao Soi with a variety of pickled vegetables as an accompaniment.

Gujarati Thali from Gujarat, India


There are a lot of Indian food joints around but authentic Indian food deep from the state of Gujarat is much more exotic than the tame options you find in most commercial locations. This rich dish is served on a large circular plate and depending on where you dine, as many as 10 flavorful servings of various curries. From buttery lentils, tender sambars, and spicy seasonal vegetables to salad, yogurt, and other vegetarian options. On top of the savory items, the Thali comes with a regular accompaniment of hot basmati rice and hand-rolled Durham rotis. We would be remiss not to mention the dessert served with each Thali which is either a jalebi, pudding, or other sweet.

Tagine from Morocco

Everything that is served in clay just tastes better, once you try Tagine, you will feel the same way. This mouthwatering exotic dish is named after the type of conical clay pot it is served in. An omelet is steamed, not fried that is then covered in a veritable smorgasbord of toppings. The dish will usually contain sesame, prunes, beef, or chicken in addition to seasonal vegetables. All of the ingredients are simmered together with a rich selection of spices all within the clay dish. Not only is this exotic dish full of flavor, but it also has a rich Moroccan history that comes along with it.

Fried Tarantulas from Cambodia

Most of the exotic foods on our list have been rather tame, if not adventurous in flavor profiles. We felt it only right to add at least one item to this list that would really challenge a true foodie. The next time you are in Cambodia, consider dining on a local favorite, fried Tarantulas. While this may seem like a crazy joke, this dish came about for quite terrible reasons. There was a time where the Cambodian people were so impoverished, specifically during the rule of the “bloody Khmer Rouge”, they had little choice but to live off the land. Aside from that, about a quarter of the world’s population includes spiders in their regular diets. This arachnid is first seasoned with salt and garlic and then deep-fried to perfection. You can eat it with dipping sauce or spear it with a stick to take it on the go. They are packed with protein, iron, and other nutrients that will keep you energized all day long.

Expanding Your Horizons With Food From Around The World

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